All automated machines here–Comelec

All automated machines here–Comelec
By Leila Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Smartmatic-TIM has delivered all 82,200 counting machines to be used in the automated elections on May 10, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced Sunday.

Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said the final shipment arrived Saturday, a day before the Feb. 28 deadline stipulated in the contract of Smartmatic-TIM with the poll agency.

The Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines will be used to record and count the votes in the country’s first nationwide computerized balloting.

With the Chinese-made machines, the results of the polls are expected to be known much sooner than when the votes were manually counted.

Larrazabal said the machines were being processed by the Bureau of Customs.

Had Smartmatic-TIM, the consortium that won the P7.2-billion contract to automate the elections, failed to deliver the machines on time, it would have been fined more than P7 million for each day of delay.

The contractor earlier said it could deliver all the machines by Feb. 21, but did not meet its self-imposed deadline due to delays in shipping.

The firm had also missed earlier schedules in its delivery timetable, prompting lawmakers to demand that the Comelec impose fines. Comelec officials, however, said penalties should be based on failure to deliver on the entire package.

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